Canadian Medical Association

Dear members,

During Mental Health Week, we want to recognize the extraordinary pressures being placed on members as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it’s scaling up virtual care in your practice, treating those who’ve been infected, coping with the uncertainty of PPE supplies, or keeping up-to-date on rapidly changing protocols, the challenges are constant.

As you work under these incredibly demanding circumstances, we want to make sure you have access to wellness resources and support, should you need them – including how to recognize the signs and prevent burnout, and how to reach out and support your colleagues during this time.

Below are some of our top wellness resources:

  • Five things doctors can do to manage COVID-19 stress and anxiety, and five questions you can use to check in with yourself, from Dr. Caroline Gérin-Lajoie, the CMA’s executive vice-president of physician health and wellness.
  • How physicians can implement personal strategies to deal with fatigue, stress and uncertainty, and advice on how to use feelings of fear to our advantage, by performance psychologist Jason Brooks.
  • For team leaders: Dr. Molyn Leszcz, former psychiatrist-in-chief at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, on why fostering a more resilient work culture is essential to coping in this unpredictable environment.
  • Pediatrician and infectious disease expert Dr. Jared Bullard shares his advice for physicians on discussing COVID-19 with their children, to reduce their anxiety and keep them safe.
  • Dr. Ron Epstein — family physician, researcher and teacher of mindful practice in medicine — explains how physicians can use mindfulness to manage stress and build resilience during this pandemic.
  • A look at how virtual peer support networks are providing a safe space for physicians, from psychiatrist Dr. Mamta Gautam.

It’s important that we all reach out for help when we need it. I strongly encourage physicians who are feeling distressed or in need of personal assistance to reach out to their provincial support program.

Thank you for all you’re doing for Canadians and one another in this time of incredible stress. If you have any questions or suggestions for how we can best support you, please don’t hesitate to contact our Member Service Centre at memberservicecentre@cma.ca or toll-free at 1-888-855-2555 (weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm EDT).

Take care and be well,
Dr. Sandy Buchman


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